Media reports of police misconduct are increasing as witnesses capture incidents involving outrageous violence on their mobile devices. However, problematic behavior among law enforcement officers can also occur in less dramatic ways that are also damaging.
You can pursue various legal remedies if you suspect a police officer’s misconduct.
What constitutes police misconduct?
Misconduct among police officers involves behavior that contradicts their oath and interferes with their official duties, involving law enforcement, crime prevention, emergency response and preservation of life and property. Examples of police misconduct include excessive force and brutality, tampering with evidence, coercing a confession and stealing.
What are your options when you suspect police misconduct?
Anyone who witnesses or experiences police misconduct in Chicago can file an anonymous complaint with the Office of the Inspector General. The agency then forwards the complaint to one of two agencies depending upon the nature of the allegations.
The Civilian Office of Police Accountability is an independent civilian organization that conducts formal investigations of complaints of matters including excessive force, coercion, misuse of guns and tasers, bias-based verbal abuse, and domestic violence.
The Bureau of Internal Affairs is the arm of the Chicago Police Department that handles complaints regarding illegal search, theft, evidence planting, substance abuse and other violations.
Both agencies conduct investigations to determine the validity of allegations and recommend disciplinary action or refer complaints back to the Inspector General’s office if they involve conflicts of interest.
Anyone who suspects police misconduct should feel comfortable taking action to hold law enforcement officers accountable for upholding their oath and obligations to the public.